LONDON Ė The market for MEMS microphones totaled $373 million in 2011, up 67 percent from $223 million in 2010, according to IHS-iSuppli.
Knowles Electronics still dominates the MEMS microphone sphere, but its share of shipments in the overall market fell from 88 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2011, the market research firm said. This was because several rival suppliers enjoyed breakthroughs in 2011. There are now eight suppliers that each produce more than 10 million MEMS microphone units per year, up from just three in 2010, the market researcher said.
Analog is both a source of demand for MEMS microphones and a trend setter for microphone-rich mobile equipment. Apple uses two analog MEMS microphones in the iPhone 4 and 4S, along with one MEMS microphone in the headset that is sold with the phone. In addition, one digital MEMS microphone is present in the iPad 2, according to IHS-iSuppli. MEMS microphones are particularly important for noise suppression when using the Siri voice command feature in the iPhone 4S.
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